Hawthorn Dene Nature Reserve

This walk took me around 1 hour 40 mins to complete and stopping for around 3 mins for photos. Some areas have tricky and dangerous bits for young and old but it is easy enough to change the direction to suit.

So the walk starts at Hawthorn, Seaham SR7 8SH, parking is on the right-hand side.

This is where you can park just before the entrance to the walk which is located just after the bin in the picture to the right and through the gate.

As you follow the path along it comes round and opens up to a field. You will see this sign on the corner of that field this where you will enter the dene its a fairly easy to follow the path after this part.

Lots of grey squirrels are around here I was just a little late to catch a photo of the real squirrel as it came from its drey.

Water rolling down the hills leading to the sea.

Many steps up and down throughout the walk but nothing to strenuous within the dene although a few stumps and roots sticking up to be aware of.

The stream that leads to the sea.

Someone else is enjoying our walkout, it’s our new dog Toby.

At the top of the steps take a right past the open field.

Then follow this path till you hit the railway road but don’t go across, take the right that leads you to another green gate.

Then through the gate and onward.

This will bring you down into a very spectacular opening.

Over the little green bridge and follow up and around the path as you follow the steps keeps to the left to go under the viaduct and follow that path to the beach.

Stunning piece of engineering.

If you have taken the left path and followed down to go under the viaduct you should now be around Hawthorn Hive Point where the stream reaches the sea.

Wonderful views

This casemate is of type FW3/22. During World War II, these bunkers were used for the defence of the United Kingdom against a possible enemy invasion. They were built in 1940 and into 1941. Source Fedor de Vries

Someone likes cherry bakewell tarts.

Although it seems impossible from this view, we will climb up to the top of this.

Personally I feel this part of the walk is around the hardest and most dangerous point so take your time. Alternatively, you can go back on yourself if you do not feel you can climb it. Going back under the viaduct to the green gate will bring you out around the same place to carry on the walk.

The steps are steep and high for the young and old and once you are on the top you will be very close to a working railroad.

So be aware of the danger especially if you have dogs that do not listen to call back like me.

These are the steep steps, with the some very stunning viewpoints along the coast.

Open working railway line when you reach the top.

At this point you can go over the lines for a shortcut if the quarry views do not interest you. Crossing the lines also brings you to the green gate if you did not want to climb the steps.

To the right, you can see Seaham Lighthouse as you follow the lines to the quarry.

Over the railway bridge and onto the quarry.

The quarry here you can take various paths to get you back to the dene.

Plenty of Snowdrops coming through while walking along this path. It will be an even better walk when they arrive in full bloom!

Nice straight picturesque paths as we are heading towards the end.

Coming to an end through the gates and onwards to a warm brew.

Better keep the dog on a leash before he decides to race them.

The last and final hurdle to a cracking little walk.

Really great little walk for a good balance of views and nature from dene, sea to farms nice in all seasons and a good chance to see roe deer and other wildlife early on a morning.

Lots of snowdrops and bluebells also plenty of wild garlic from April and a few really interesting buildings on the beach.

450 Calories burnt


All of my photos of the walk in a slideshow.



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Lf Hiker | E.Pointal contributor

Hawthorne Dene   


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From trees to seas

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